THE Healthful Living ADVOCATE News • Views • Perspectives • Truths
January/February 2007

Dear Julie,

Happy New Year!

Healthful Living wishes you great health and happiness in 2007.

A great way to begin the year is to once again ask...Are you healthful living? We asked this BIG life question a year ago and find that it really does help focus you on healthy ways. Improving the condition of all life begins with each person, bit by bit, embracing healthful ways of being and sharing their consciousness with others.

What role will you play this year in Earth's collective co-creation? What can you do, what will you shift, how can you contribute and nourish the future for us all? How will you be healthful living in 2007?

Julie and Martin

in this issue
  • Healthful Living On The Air!
  • Try a Cooking Buddy! by Julie Matthews
  • My Take on Traditional Foods by Martin Matthews
  • Sugar Substitutes by Carla Borelli
  • Fermented Foods Fervor by Julie Matthews
  • Breathe and Relax by Martin Matthews
  • What is Teen Whispering? by Kyra Bobinet, M.D.
  • ANNOUNCING: Julie Matthews to speak at two autism conferences and begins new show on Autism One Radio.
  • Healthful Living seeks modest benefactor

  • Try a Cooking Buddy! by Julie Matthews

    Integrating healthy foods into your life can be easier - try cooking with a buddy!

    My friend, Carla Borelli (http://LocalForage.com), and I usually get together once a month on a Saturday. We choose two items to cook together - something we’ve made before and one new dish. We get to the San Francisco Farmers’ Market early since certain vendors sell out of special items by 8:15 or 8:30am. If we’ve planned ahead, we’ll pick up the special orders we placed a few days earlier.

    Sometimes we’ll spend the whole day experimenting with foods and dishes we’ve never made or eaten before. We spend most of the day cooking and socializing while together we get excited and inspired preparing healthy dishes for the coming week or two.

    Here are some major reasons to connect with a Cooking Buddy!

    Healthy mid-week meals: Cooking Buddy day can take 2-3 hours for shopping and 4-6 hours of cooking, which yields me 14 or more dishes (that I use for lunch or dinner) to augment my mid week meals. When time is limited, we can condense it to 4 or 5 hours total. Getting together every 2 weeks would be ideal for us; however, since we’re busy once a month works out best. On other weekends I’ll make a soup or stew to tied me over until our next cooking marathon.

    Faster preparation and clean up: Teamwork pays. With two people preparation and clean up goes twice as fast. Cooking is faster too! Even though you’re making twice as much food, it only takes a little longer to wash or chop the extra. One person can be washing, while the other is chopping, or working on other parts of the dish.

    Learning and building confidence. Together, we’ve discovered many foods that used to be strange (pork stomach fat, stock chickens with the heads and feet on) or scary (raw milk and homemade mayonnaise). Having a cooking buddy has allowed each of us become more adventurous and willing try new things. Originally, I thought leaving raw eggs on my counter to PURPOSELY innoculate and grow (good) bacteria in the process of making homemade mayonnaise was crazy (if not dangerous). I learned this from a cooking class by Sandrine Hahn. The good lactobacillus bacteria ferments it and helps naturally preserve the mayonnaise. Once I saw someone make it and learned that people safely consume it, and why, I was forever comfortable with this (and many related) ideas. Additionally: The instructor in a cooking class can be a type of “cooking buddy.” Although they don’t come to your home on an ongoing basis, a cooking class can catapult your cooking capability forward by providing you confidence through seeing others do it first and by learning new things to increase your repetoire, skill, and confidence. This is why I began teaching cooking classes ­ people get excited, empowered, and inspired to cook because of the new things they learn.

    Faster skill and technique building. Often, Carla or I will try something different. We may prepare our stew together, but cook them in our respective crock pots. We’ll often use some different ingredients or cook at different temperature or different time or something. This way we can compare notes on the impact of this or that ingredient or technique on the taste, texture, or cooking time.

    Cooking for One? Hard to motivate sometimes? Cooking with a friend generates the positive feeling of sharing a cooking experience with someone. While you‘ll eat the meals alone during the week, you’ll be able to touch base later and share your experiences of the meal. You also may choose to eat dinner together the night of the cooking marathon. There’s something wonderful about good food, and like a good view, it’s always nice to share the experience with someone ­ how about your cooking buddy!

    Cooking Buddies are great. Together, Carla and I have made dishes ranging from lamb stew and meat loaf to sauerkraut and homemade pasta.

    Having a cooking buddy has helped me actually COOK , TASTE, and ENJOY many foods and dishes that I’ve thought about for a long time, but hadn’t gotten singularly motivated to do. I recommend this to everyone, just like an exercise buddy, a cooking buddy helps make being healthy fun ­ and that’s always a good thing!

    My Take on Traditional Foods by Martin Matthews

    I am a lifelong picky eater. I’ve always scrutinized the contents, preparation, smell, taste, and healthfulness of whatever was presented to me to eat. As such, I’ve never developed an affinity to a particular “type” of foods, until recently. I love traditional foods.

    Traditional foods contain only healthy ingredients and are prepared in the time honored customary ways of our ancestors. They do not require chemical additives to make them palatable.

    In today’s world of fast paced low quality food production with every meal available by defrost; just the notion of “traditional” foods is welcoming. I like the idea of an entire category of food that is meant to be nourishing to the body ­ after all, isn’t that what food is supposed to do? Nourish AND taste good.

    I remember the aroma in my grandma’s kitchen and she hurried about, measuring things, chopping, and simmering. It seemed that everything grandma prepared was infused with an extra dash of love. She had recipes on faded paper and would tell stories about how her mother used to make the same dish “years ago.” When grandma was cooking, you knew the meal would taste great and be healthy too!

    And it’s this good feeling that I have whenever I prepare a Traditional dish, or go to celebration where traditional foods are the menu ­ I know that I can eat most everything there. Whether it’s a soaked grain dish with spices and herbs, or fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, homemade yogurt, or kombucha. Whenever I eat fermented foods I’m reminded of their probiotic qualities and how this nourishment serves my health and well being. There is nothing more powerful for sustaining healthy ways of being than DOING healthy things, and nothing under my control could be more consistently paramount to the functioning of my body than the foods I choose to put inside it.

    Welcoming traditional foods into my diet was naturally aligned with my overall health focused orientation. It’s as if I’ve always known, or perhaps that my BODY has always known, that these foods, this way of thinking about food, is inherently human. As you further seek out and discover what healthful living is for you, you may wish to explore traditional foods. A few places to begin are: Sally Fallon’s wonderful cookbook, Nourishing Traditions (hear interviews with Sally on our radio show); the principles and practices of the Weston A. Price Foundation (there is a San Francisco Chapter); and of course Healthful Living’s Foundations of Traditional Foods cooking classes. Please share your learning experiences with us. Enjoy!

    Sugar Substitutes by Carla Borelli

    The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than 8 teaspoons per day of added sugar based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet. That's 32 grams if you're reading labels. 8 teaspoons x 4 grams per teaspoon = 32 total grams sugar.

    Let's calibrate: With 40 grams in a can, a single Coke provides 10 teaspoons of sugar. A single Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate & Walnuts cookie has six teaspoons of sugar. A bottle of Odwalla Berries GoMega Juice has 12 teaspoons of sugar. Brown Cow Blueberry Yogurt has over 8 teaspoons of sugar.

    The USDA web site says that the United States is the largest consumer of sweeteners, including high fructose corn syrup. In Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan says, "Since 1985 our consumption of all added sugars—cane, beet, HFCS, glucose, honey, maple syrup, whatever—has climbed from 128 pounds to 158 pounds per person." There is no doubt that we have a major, major problem with sugar consumption in this country.

    Of all the industrial foods, I regard sugar as the most villainous. Eating sugar depletes B vitamins (which leads to premenstrual symptoms and depression, my sisters), promotes Candida albicans, bone loss and tooth decay*. Then of course there is obesity, diabetes and heart disease since sugar raises blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol.

    With that said, it's almost impossible for me to completely avoid added sugar in my diet. Life just wouldn't be worth living without the occasional taste of sweetness. For me, it's about sparing use. I buy plain, no-sugar-added yogurt and flavor it with a very small amount of maple syrup, for example. When sugar is necessary, I believe in using the ones which have at least some redeeming qualities (unlike white table sugar which has none). Here are four of my favorite sugar substitutes:

    Stevia. To do it justice, I really need to devote an entire post on the subject of stevia. Stevia rebaudiana is a South American sweet leaf with a fascinating history. In short, it has been used as a natural sweetener in South America for over 1500 years. It's totally non-caloric and the extract is about 300 times sweeter than sugar. Research shows that stevia can actually regulate blood sugar. In South America, stevia is sold as an aid to people with diabetes and hypoglycemia. It's available in liquid, tablet or powder form but is not labeled as a sweetener.

    Due to major political subterfuge, in 1991 the United States Food and Drug Administration labeled stevia as an "unsafe food additive" and restricted its import. Stevia remained banned until after the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act forced the FDA to revise its stance to permit stevia to be used as a dietary supplement. It could be advertised and sold as a supplement but not as a food additive. (I know this makes no sense and I'm sure you smell a rat like I did. So stay tuned for a separate post on stevia.)

    I use stevia in coffee and tea and in whipping cream. Conversion to sugar: See this page for detailed answer.

    Raw Honey. Honey that hasn't been heated over 117 degrees is loaded with enzymes that digest carbs (amylases) as well as all the nutrients found in plant pollens. If you use it for oatmeal or toast, the amylases help digest grains. Buy honey labeled "raw" and use it in desserts that don't require heating. But moms please note: raw honey should not be given to infants as they lack sufficient stomach acid to deactivate bacteria spores. Conversion: 1/2 cup honey = 1 cup sugar. Reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup.

    Rapadura. Rapadura is the commercial name for dehydrated cane sugar juice, which the people of India have used for thousands of years. It is rich in minerals, particularly silica and iron. Rapadura has a great flavor and closely mimics sugar in chemical properties. It gives good results in cookies and cakes but be careful not to overdo as Rapadura is still a concentrated sweetener. Use carefully if you have sugar balance problems. Conversion: 1 cup Rapadura = 1 cup sugar

    Maple syrup. Maple syrup is concentrated from the sap of sugar maple trees. True pure maple syrup is expensive because it takes 30 to 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. It's rich in trace minerals manganese and zinc, brought up from below ground by the tree's deep roots. Unfortunately formaldehyde is used in the production of most commercial maple syrup so check your sources. Also check to make sure that corn syrup hasn't been added. And get the less refined grade B for richer flavor. I like maple syrup on yogurt, cream-based desserts and baked goods. Conversion: 1/2 to 2/3 cup maple syrup = 1 cup sugar. Reduce liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup.

    *However, it doesn't promote tooth decay for the reason you might think. Sugar upsets the balance of calcium and phosphorus, which causes teeth to rot from the inside out.

    Carla Borelli is a contributor to the Healthful Living Advocate - Please visit her site at Local Forage.com.

    Fermented Foods Fervor by Julie Matthews

    Fermented Foods are naturally cultured, a process through which healthy bacteria grow over periods of time. Good bacteria is essential for proper digestion and it’s this healthy bacteria that work in harmony with our bodily systems and help support our overall heath.

    Among the naturally fermented foods are: Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha, Raw sauerkraut and cultured vegetables, Crème fraiche, Rejuvelac, Beet kvass, and more.

    Most of these are sour, so they require getting if your tastes are over accustomed to sweet (as in many American diets). The good bacteria increases nutrient content, supplies good bacteria for the digestive tract, and even preserves the food. People are often squeamish about, or mystified by, fermented foods because we’ve been conditioned to think that bacteria (any bacteria) is bad.

    • Make vitamins that our bodies need and utilize
    • Produce essential fatty acids
    • Digest lactose
    • Regulate peristalsis and bowel movements
    • Digest protein into amino acids (for use by the body)
    • Help infants establish good digestion, preventing colic, diaper rash and gas
    • Produce antibiotics and antifungals with prevent colonization and growth of bad bacteria and yeast/fungus
    • Support the immune system and increase the number of immune cells
    • Balance intestinal pH
    • Break down bacterial toxins
    • Have antitumor and anticancer effects
    • Protect us against environmental toxins
    • Break down bile acids
    • Helps normalize serum cholesterol and triglycerides
    • Break down and rebuild hormones
    • Promote healthy metabolism
    • (from Liz Lipski’s, Digestive Wellness - Listen to Liz on our upcoming Reality Sandwich show on January 25th)

    Good bacteria are helpful to virtually every system of the body: digestive, hormonal, detoxification, cardiovascular, and immune.

    Fermented Foods and Candida: There is some confusion about whether fermented foods should be consumed when experiencing Candida (a type of problematic yeast). Vinegar ferments (not live fermentations and not recommended by me) such as commercial pickles, pasteurized sauerkraut, and others are not good when you have candida. Live lactobacillus ferments, on the other hand, have many beneficial properties. Healthy bacteria is good for reducing Candida because they help make your inner terrain inhospitable for the yeast. Further, natural ferments with yeast cultures like kefir and kombucha are particularly good at getting rid of candida, as these yeasts kill other yeasts, specifically Candida. However, there is something to be aware of with fermented foods. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda (as my acupuncture and ayurvedic friends tell me), candida is a condition of dampness and exacerbated by cold, damp foods such as fermented foods. Because of this, I’ve discovered it’s best if you have a candida overgrowth to add warming spices to your fermented foods ­ I suggest cinnamon added to yogurt, ginger to kombucha, and ginger or cayenne to sauerkraut.

    Some people do better with small amounts of fermented foods, while others thrive on larger amounts - so the type and amount YOU consume will differ from others. I find, once people become familiar and begin to enjoy eating fermented foods, those that need more tend to crave more. So go with your intuition and eat as much as you like.

    Learn to make fermented foods in our upcoming fermented foods class.

    Breathe and Relax by Martin Matthews

    For the sake of our collective well being, please remember to breathe and relax. Simply bringing awareness to these related processes, often and consistently, will greatly improve the quality of your 2007.

    We are constantly being “grabbed” by events outside of our control that, when they occur, trigger a complete take over of our entire being. You could be calmly drinking your morning coffee/tea when a certain headline catches your eye, and before you know it you’re irate, disjointed, upset, and on the way to fury. This is a "grab." Something outside you interfered with your existence and changed your state in a given moment. This happens all the time. The baby spitting up on your tie, the phone ringing when your hands are full, the printer getting jammed, your latte being under foamed, the look from the person preparing your latte. Grab grab grab grab grab!

    Breathe and Relax.

    When we’re grabbed from the outside like this, our body (being the intelligent organism that it is) automatically goes into alert mode by tensing up and protecting - it stresses. In this state (physical and/or emotional condition), stress, dis-ease (emotional and physical) can flourish. Just look around at our high fear, fast paced, Starbucks fueled, pharmaceutical popping, health epidemic (obesity, autism, depression, etc.) suffering society for the evidence. Even though most grabs are short lived, our bodies remain “on alert” for some time ­ we must learn to “reset” ourselves.

    Stress management/reduction and the building of broader toolsets for overall holistic health and wellness are topics we address at healthful living (and discuss here in The Advocate and on Reality Sandwich), however this article is intended to remind your consciousness the importance and practice of breathe and relax. No matter what the circumstance that grabs you, your easiest and best “first aid” is to breathe ­ stop in the moment and put your complete attention on taking a full breath of air. You will experience a transformation of state.

    Your breath, your direct connection to life-force is what’s initially inhibited when a grab occurs. The immediate “antidote” is your own intervention into the ensuing process of stress by shifting your attention to taking a breath. Try it. Just by reading this article you can begin to train your mind to readily remember that when a grab occurs, you will stop and breath. The “relax” part is connected to the breath. When your body receives a full breath, it responds accordingly by relaxing ­ or reducing the overall level of stress your system is experiencing. It’s like an immediate shift from “red alert,” back to more appropriate and management levels.

    Stress will always find you, but you have to seek out relaxation. Training ourselves to stop and breath (even just a single deep breath) when grabbed is a key component to allowing our bodies and minds to thrive. As a Hypnotherapist, this is where our mind/body work begins, empowering the mind to heal the body ­ and bolstering our resilience to life’s stressors is paramount to our individual and collective well being.

    Try it the next ten times you are grabbed. Perhaps put a sticky note in your pocket with the word “breath” written ten times. Just notice grabs over the next day or so - catch yourself and check each iteration off your list. Notice the responsiveness of your body. It may seem simple or silly at first, but I assure you that before long you will shift what occurs inside when you are grabbed. To be sure, this topic could be covered in volumes of text, but for now, and for everyone’s sake, breathe and relax.

    What is Teen Whispering? by Kyra Bobinet, M.D.

    We're pleased to introduce you to Kyra's heartfelt work with today's teens and families. Hear her on Reality Sandwich this February 2nd - Martin & Julie

    1) "I hate you! Burn in Hell!"
    2) "I don'’t care--—whatever."
    3) Eye-rolling
    4) Silent treatment
    5) Snickering at you or behind your back
    6) "#%&! %#*"

    Which of these communications is a part of your relationship with teenagers? And how do you respond? Do you respond the same way as those who raised you?

    When I was a teenager, my family yelled. We yelled across the house to announce a phone call. We escalated to yelling in order to win an argument. We yelled cruel and demoralizing things when we lost our temper--things we didn'’t mean--but later regretted. Many families have operated this way. And it hurts.

    But times are changing. I don’t spank my daughters like I was spanked as a kid. Some shift in paradigm occurred between the 70’s when I was getting spanking red buttocks and the 90's when I found myself steadfast next to a tiny "time-out" chair containing my 3 year-old hissy fittin' daughter. Perhaps adults are motivated now that media and peer groups have taken over their teen's development on so many fronts. Or, maybe the same adult-driven ground-swell of respect, love, and non-violence that created the time-out has started to explore how we can better relate to teenagers. Regardless, it has become clear to me that adults today want to overcome the communication divides of technology, generation gaps, and a rapidly changing world. They want healthy, supportive relationships with teens.

    Teen Whispering speaks "teen". No, I do NOT mean adults should try-on the latest slang--—I think we all remember THOSE adults from when we were younger. What I DO mean is that Teen Whispering is communication that respects and caters to the profile of adolescent development.

    An effective commercial is tailored to the interests and common experiences of its target audience. Likewise, Teen Whispering profiles and speaks to the adolescent experience. Instead of manipulating behavior as commercials do, Teen Whispering builds honor and respect for both teen and adult.

    Teen Whispering follows four basic principles that I call the WSPR test. W is for "win-win", as opposed to win-lose, as an approach. S stands for "speaks teen”. This means that what is said resonates with the perspective of the teen. P stands for "profile anatomy"--—a term I use to refer to the characteristics and developmental themes that are active during a specific stage of life. Profile anatomy tests the communication for the developmental age of who we are in that moment (e.g. has the adult regressed such that, in effect, there are now two teenagers arguing instead of an adult and a teen?). Finally, R is for "respect of needs”. This may be the most critical test for good communication--most people intuit this. However, confusion happens easily because we are confused about what "respect" and “needs" really mean. Teen Whispering offers clarity by showing how and in what ways adults and teens need and respect differently.

    The essence of Teen Whispering lies in applying reliable information from human development and behavior patterns. It is the "emotional intelligence" of being with teens. We will explore this together through this blog--—and hopefully make a difference for families and professionals. I look forward to joining with you in forging a paradigm shift toward improving how we, as a society, treat teenagers--and ultimately ourselves.

    Read more at TeenWhispering.com

    The essence of Teen Whispering lies in applying reliable information from human development and behavior patterns. It is the "emotional intelligence" of being with teens. We will explore this together through this blog--—and hopefully make a difference for families and professionals. I look forward to joining with you in forging a paradigm shift toward improving how we, as a society, treat teenagers--and ultimately ourselves.

    ANNOUNCING: Julie Matthews to speak at two autism conferences and begins new show on Autism One Radio.

    Julie Matthews, Certified Nutrition Consultant with Healthful Living, will present at the 2007 Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) national conference in Washington D.C. this April. Julie has been a DAN! practitioner helping parents and children with autism for over five years. She will be speaking on Nutrition Foundations for Autistic Spectrum Disorders and introducing the benefits of Traditional Foods for those with ASDs.

    Julie will also be speaking and doing a cooking demonstration at the Autism One Conference in Chicago in May. She'll be combining her experience with ASD diets with practical hands-on learning and application of Traditional Healing foods.

    This month Julie joins Autism One Radio, which presents interviews and insights from top researchers and practioners and varied topics related to autism recovery. Julie's show, titled after her book Nourishing Hope, will focus on aspects of nutritional intervention and aim to aid parents in applying information in "doable" ways.

    Healthful Living seeks modest benefactor

    As Healthful Living nurtures its seeds of growth, we welcome resources from abundant souls who share an affinity for holisitic health and healing, healthy babies and moms, and the co-creation of a healthful living community.

    Our Nourish The Future (Nutrition for Pregnancy) and Nourishing Hope (Nutrition intervention for Autism) campaigns aim to empower moms to optimize the health of babies and for families with autism to better navigate dietary interventions to help their children recover.

    Resources could serve to further current book projects, research assistance, marketing intiatives, community education, and more.

    Please contact us to explore and learn more.

    Healthful Living is a recapturing of innately human conscious ways of being that nourish the future. Our holistic model encourages living that supports the flourishing and sustainability of all living things and systems. Read more here.

    Healthful Living On The Air!

    Healthful Living's radio show, Reality Sandwich airs Thursday's @ Noon on 89.5 FM in San Francisco, or online at KPOO.com

    Upcoming Shows

    January 18th
    Jane Hersey, Author & Researcher
    Offending Foods: The links between diet and violence.

    January 25th

    Liz Lipski, Ph.D., Clinical Nutritionist
    Digestive Wellness for Children

    February 1st

    Kyra Bobinet, MD
    Human development experts speaks on the dynamics of adolescent and adult relations.

    February 8th

    Michele Simon, JD MPH
    Public health lawyer discusses her new book Appetite for Profit

    February 15th

    David Traver, M.D.
    Elisa Song, M.D.
    Julie Matthews, NC.

    Free downloads of our past shows at RealitySandwichRadio.com

    Some Recent Topics....

    • Inner tools for Handling Change
    • Embracing a New Paradigm
    • Soulmate Relationships
    • Heart Health
    • The Consumeritis Epidemic
    • Divine Love Making
    • Optimal Health for Longevity
    • Local Forage: Finding Good Food
    • Holistic Dental Health
    • Nuclear Power is Not the Answer
    • Food Additives and Kids
    • 20-hour ADD Solution
    • Natural Childbirth
    • Heart & Soul of Sex
    • Nonviolent Communication
    • The Safety of Fish
    • Benefits of Raw Dairy
    • Nourishing Traditions Diets
    • Socially Conscious Investment
    • Constitutional Basics
    • and much more


    Foundations of Traditional Foods:
    Recipe for a Healthy Family

    Saturday, February 17th
    Saturday, April 14th

    Cooking for Baby!
    Saturday, February 24th
    Saturday, March 31st

    Traditional Healing Foods for Children on the Austistic Spectrum including ADHD
    Saturday, March 17th


    Beginning in February
    Beginning in March

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    Interview with
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    Are you,
    or someone you know,
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